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We will create our own spaces

“We will still write and delete draft tweets, still ask ourselves: Should I bite my tongue to keep my job, or say something to keep my sanity?”

In 2019, black and brown journalists will continue to leave predominantly white news organizations that undervalue and underpay for our work. Journalists of color and queer journalists will challenge the value of legacy organizations considered prestige brands who refuse to make room for diverse voices, even as they lift ideas from writers of color and queer culture without crediting them.

We will not apply to “diversity fellowships” that ask a single person of color to do the work of five journalists and an editor. We will call out those news and publishing organizations who brag about their “diversity hires” and we will point to their attrition rates for journalists of color.

We will create our own spaces. We have to. We often do not feel safe in our workplaces, walking an invisible line between job security and self-respect. We will search for ways to thrive, not just survive.

More journalists of color and queer journalists will establish platforms in new and emerging outlets — run by us. Funding mechanisms like Patreon and Pactio will help pay some of the bills.

In 2019, we will still write and delete draft tweets, still ask ourselves: Should I bite my tongue to keep my job, or say something to keep my sanity?

Seema Yasmin is cofounder of the Survival Kit for Journalists of Color and a former staff writer at The Dallas Morning News.

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